I Shot Andy Warhol (1996) Poster

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I Shot Andy Warhol
cultfilmfan25 March 2005
I Shot Andy Warhol, is based on the true life story of Valerie Solanas, who was a female radical in the 60's and was a lesbian and very against men. She wrote a play and came to New York, with a friend of hers who is a drag queen named Candy Darling to meet Andy Warhol. Valerie, gives Andy Warhol's company (called the factor) her play and soon she comes back and talks to Andy about it and Andy gets her to star in a couple of movies that he directs. Soon, Valerie gets a place and meets a publisher who inspires her to write a novel about her revolution and he plans to publish it. But soon Valerie starts to get paranoid and thinks that Andy Warhol, has to much impact on her life and thinks that he and the book publisher are setting her up so she plans to make herself famous by shooting him. Andy Warhol survived the shooting but died several years later due to complications and Valerie, was sent to a mental hospital and was homeless for quite awhile until she died of pneumonia. Her book SCUM Manifesto, is now published all over the world. Winner of the award for Best Art Direction at The Gijon International Film Festival, The Golden Space Needle Award for Best Actress (Lili Taylor, who plays Valerie Solanas) at The Seattle International Film Festival, The Best Actress Award at The Stockholm Film Festival and the special recognition for Lili Taylor at The Sundance Film Festival. I Shot Andy Warhol, has good direction, a good script, good performances from everybody involved, good original music, good cinematography and good production design. I Shot Andy Warhol, is a fascinating character study and a very interesting film. It shows the many different stages in a time of Valerie's life and it is compelling and played very well by Lili Taylor and all of the other actors. Also being a fan of Andy Warhol, I found the scenes with his factory and underground lifestyles with his films and art to be really interesting as well. This film shows a lot of different lifestyles and gives these characters interesting personalities and gives them good character development. The film is also a good looking film and looks like it probably would have back then. A very entertaining and fascinating look at an interesting person who you might not know of and of someone you do know of.
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Intelligent Treatment Of True-Life Attempt On Warhol's Life
stryker-528 December 1998
Warning: Spoilers
Lili Taylor is astonishingly good as the bright but highly-disturbed woman who tried to kill the celebrated non-artist. We see the story told in dislocated flashback as the would-be assassin Valerie Solanis is arrested and interviewed after the shooting. Home movie footage is poignantly interleaved with Valerie's matter-of-fact admissions.

Having been abused as a child, and sexually promiscuous before puberty, Solanis developed a strong antipathy towards men during her student years at the University of Maryland. She financed her degree course by means of prostitution. The film shows her living rough in New York City between 1966 and 1968, begging, soliciting for sex and performing radical street theatre.

She is drawn into the twilight world of Warhol's 'court' of phoneys and hangers-on, a disturbed New York wise-ass who demands recognition but who will never be taken seriously by these Beautiful People.

Jared Harris plays Warhol beautifully as the inarticulate, vacuous fraud at the head of a sham 'movement'. Significantly, Warhol does not get involved in whatever's going on. A Warhol film is being shot in The Factory, but we learn that Andy won't be around today. A drug-besotted 'happening' takes place under the Warhol aegis, but Andy stays on the margins, even of the sex - his purpose is to hit on the wealthy voyeurs who turn up at his parties.

As Warhol the cynical manipulator grows in media credibility, Solanis is reduced to peddling squalid sex and copies of her manifesto around Greenwich Village. It is clear that she has been 'dropped' by the court of Queen Drella. She becomes increasingly embittered, feeling that Warhol is exploiting her writings, and her behaviour deteriorates into violence and incoherence. When she shows up in the same old rags at the newly-gentrified Factory, we grasp what she can't - that the gulf between her and these parasites with savvy is unbridgeable.

Solanis beds a fellow weirdo, and acquires a gun from him. We see their drug-induced disorientation in a sequence of crash-edits, a knowing reference to the pop style of sixties film-making.

This is a very shrewd and very watchable film. It damns Warhol, but is none the worse for that.
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The Valerie Solanis Story.
Joseph P. Ulibas22 August 2005
I Shot Andy Warhol (1996) was an interesting movie that I saw on satellite t.v. a few years ago. The movie was about the lesbian neo-feminist and founder of S.C.U.M. Valerie Solanis (Lili Taylor). She's an aspiring writer who's trying to fit in the mid sixties lifestyle of New York City. Valerie lives with her sometimes lover (Martha Plimpton) and co-worker. The two turn tricks, roll certain customers and hang out with a transvestite named Candy Darling (Stephen Dorff). One day Candy suggests to Valerie that she meet with Andy Warhol (Jared Harris). The rest is history. Michael Imperioli co-stars as a very catty Ondine, Tahnee Welch guest stars as Viva and Donovan Leitch appears as Gerald Malanga.

If you want to see how Warhol's "Factory" and it's atmosphere then this is the movie you want to see. Jared Harris was perfect as Andy Warhol and Lili Taylor made Valerie Solanis into a tragic person who's life was filled with madness and heartbreak. I was also impressed with Stephen Dorff, I never knew how great of an actor he has become. This movie is perfect and ideal for those who always wanted to know what happened to Warhol during the late sixties and how his life and attitudes were changed forever.

Highly recommended.
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The Woman's Version of Peeping Tom
Jeffrey Wang26 February 1999
If Peeping Tom was directed by a woman, then it would probably resemble Mary Harron's wonderful I Shot Andy Warhol. Like Peeping Tom, I Shot Andy Warhol is about how misunderstandings between the sexes can lead to violence. What was so great about I Shot Andy Warhol is how it takes a woman who most people would consider a psychopath and it humanizes her. We see what drives Valerie Solanas to commit her "insane" act of shooting Andy Warhol, and we come to understand why she did what she ended up doing. In other words, I Shot Andy Warhol successfully gets into the head of "insanity." After watching this film, I thought of a poem from Emily Dickinson: "Much madness is divinest sense. . . to a discerning eye. Much sense, the starkest madness. Ascent, and you are sane. Demure, you're straightaway dangerous, and put into chains." Now, let's see what Mary Harron does with another story about a "psychopath," American Psycho. . .
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thought provoking
CountZero3138 October 2010
Lili Taylor gives a savagely kinetic performance in this representation of a disturbed individual who may just also have been a genius despite, or because of, her treatment at the hands of various men throughout her life.

Judging biopics in terms of historical accuracy is for the most part a futile exercise. There is no 'truth', only interpretation, but if you want to get closer to the facts you really should be in the library, not the movie theatre. The story of Valerie Solanas is especially vexing in this case, because were this a work of complete fiction, the script would never have been made. The 'so what?' factor is superseded by the fact that this actually happened, and the legacy of Solanas still divides contemporary feminists.

As cinema, the film succeeds through the charisma exuded in Taylor's performance. Her descent into madness is sudden, vicious and uncompromising. The depiction of the shooting, the moment the film has been leading up to, shows a human being divorced absolutely from her conscience. The groovy scene around Warhol's the Factory is both decadent and, viewed from the 21st century, slightly twee. The pastiche of Sixties nostalgia is less foregrounded than Solanas's brutal victimhood. The film begins with a reading of her psychiatric evaluation, where a litany of unpunished crimes inflicted upon this woman by various men is laid out. The female director sets her stall out straight away - what you are hearing now leads through a direct line of cause and effect to the monstrous act you will see committed by Solanas later.

If the film has a major flaw, it is the title. Audiences could be mistaken for thinking it is about a documentarian of Warhol's life and work. Solanas and her SCUM manifesto, for better or worse, have made their mark, and perhaps 'Solanas' would have been a more fitting (if less marketable) title. Did it take the shooting for that to be the case? A polemical moment in recent history relayed straightforwardly, this is competent, entertaining, edifying cinema.
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Better than I thought it would be
Sean Gallagher4 April 1999
Lili Taylor, as I think I've said here before, is one of my favorite actresses, but I have to admit I was hesitant about seeing this film, especially when a friend told me he found it overrated. I have a hard time with people who type people in general terms, and this movie seemed, at first, to say "All men are scum." And the opening 15-30 minutes seem to indicate this is just going to be a rant. However, you do gradually get to empathize with all the people involved, and you do get an idea of how things were at that time. Taylor and Jared Harris were fine as Valerie Solanas and Andy Warhol, respectively, but the real surprise for me was Stephen Dorff as Candy Darling. I've never thought much of Dorff, but he really shone through here, refusing to stereotype Candy or inject too much pathos.
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Looks and sounds amazing, but the narrative lags...
moonspinner555 April 2006
Lili Taylor plays Valerie Solanas, an educated loose cannon, guerrilla female activist and self-described 'bull dyke', who was taken into custody in June 1968 after shooting and wounding Andy Warhol at his New York City office/hangout The Factory. Good-looking movie investigates a hazy chapter in history, yet leaves some unanswered questions in its wake (I wasn't aware that apparently an assistant was also shot, though the film makes no attempt to explain what happened to him). However, this small-budgeted film captures a decadently apathetic, coolly indifferent time and place quite vividly, as good as any post-'60s movie has yet managed. Taylor is appropriately forceful and ungainly in her role, which is more complex than one might think, and yet hers is the least interesting or intriguing character on display. Stephen Dorff does a pretty terrific job as transvestite Candy Darling, Tahnee Welch is unrecognizable as Warhol's most famous starlet Viva, and Jared Harris is flawless as Warhol (he nails it). Terrific art direction and composition, but the film lags a bit in the narrative department, with Solanas meeting an anti-bourgeois activist which doesn't come to much and has a facetious, puzzling relationship with publisher Maurice Girodias which seems half-baked. **1/2 from ****
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Worth it just for Lily Taylor's performance
vincent-2717 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
If you like indie counterculture flicks, this might be right up your alley. It is the story of Valerie Solanas, a radical feminist lesbian in the 60's who writes her revolutionary manifesto that attempts to rid the world of the male species. For someone who is supposedly very intelligent and who studied psychology, she is obviously unable to see this as being completely insane, not to mention impossible. Her hatred for men is text book, sexually abused as a child, forced into prostitution to support herself, that would lead any woman to lesbianism.

So, here we have this man hating butch dike played to perfection by Lily Taylor, although since I have never seen Solanas (and I'm sure either had Taylor) I'm not sure if it was true to her, or just Taylor's own wild imaginings of what this woman must have been like. It's similar to Johnny Depp as Hunter S. Thompson, a great performance, but actually quite off the mark as an impersonation of Thompson. But since nobody knows anything about Solanas, Taylor is free to run wild, and run wild she does, as most of commented, completely carrying this film with her intensity and ferocity. If it wasn't for her, this movie would have been a complete bore, since whenever she is not in a scene, I nearly fell asleep, Harron has all these really slow panning shots in red filter that don't show anything of interest. I was kind of intrigued by Solanas philosophy, as bizarre as it was. Much of it was true, sex can be a very solitary experience, especially the kind of sex Solanas has had (rape and prostitution). Men can be governed by their insecurities based on sexual performance and desires (see most political/religious leaders). However what of the female insecurities and desires? THere are plenty and they are just as ugly as the male's. I often wonder if the world would be better off if women ruled it, because I have my own views on what is really driving our consumption based society which is killing the planet. It's the woman as much as the man, perhaps even more so. Women have an insatiable need to consume, hence turning shopping into a hobby, which no man has ever done.

Anyway, check this movie out simply for Taylor, she is brilliant and unrestrainted and her tough talking New York chick impersonation will mezmerize you.
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Her Fifteen Minutes Of Fame
Lechuguilla11 January 2012
If you shoot someone whom others consider "important" I suppose some filmmaker will want to make a movie about you. I can think of no other reason why anyone would want to make a film about Valerie Solanas (Lili Taylor), the spunky, chain-smoking, foul-mouthed, self-centered, lesbian feminist who, in the summer of 1968, shot Andy Warhol (Jared Harris). Warhol was a New York City painter/artist ... or something ... and guru of all things avant-garde, who attracted the chic and the trendy to his New York City "Factory", the center of counterculture pop art.

In the film Solanas, who harbors an enormous grudge against men, comes across initially as assertive and resourceful. She makes a living hustling the streets: "Pardon me sir, you got 15 cents? Pardon me sir ..." On the rooftop of a high-rise she types her S.C.U.M. "manifesto", outlining her complaints against the male species.

But whereas Solanas is passionate about her cause, Warhol is a study in emotional detachment and indifference. He, and those in his orbit, sees Solanas more as a hanger-on. At one point, Solanas shows Warhol her typed manifesto. Warhol flips through it and responds in a deadpan manner: "Did you type this yourself? I'm so impressed. You should come type for us." Marvelous.

The film's best element is the acting. Lili Taylor is terrific. She really gets into the Solanas persona. Jared Harris also gives a splendid performance. The film's tone teeters between seriousness and tongue-in-cheek humor. Costumes, prod design, music, and lighting are all credible.

For modern day feminists, "I Shot Andy Warhol" probably is required viewing. For others, the film offers a cinematic study into the mindset of a quirky, sincere, but ultimately self-deceptive and delusional young woman who got her fifteen minutes of fame by carrying her political cause a little too far.
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Three Good Performances Lost
xteve17 November 2002
Stephen Dorff and Lili Taylor and Jared Harris are all great in this film, particularly Dorff. But the film's biggest weakness is that everyone in the movie is so weird you don't really care what happens to them. Only Dorff manages to invest his character with enough humanity and vulnerability that you are actually interested to learn of his ultimate fate. I was kind of surprised to learn that Solanis is held up as some kind of proto-feminist lesbian guru when it is obvious she's only twisted and insane.

Imagine if the situation were reversed and Solanis was a man calling for the cutting up of all women and denouncing women as an inferior race. Such a viewpoint would be considered monstrous! Solanis is a crank and a fool, so it's impossible to take her character's world view any more seriously than the guy down by the subway station who mumbles to people who aren't there.

The entire Factory scene is rightly exposed as the pretentious, ridiculous collection of sub-mediocre talent it was. So the viewer isn't surprised when Solanis shoots Warhol, as he couldn't say no to anyone around him and surrounded himself with so many weirdos it was inevitable.

Would this film have been lauded had it been a biopic of Mark David Chapman? I don't see much difference between Solanis and Chapman frankly...both complete, colossal failures in life who managed to gain notierity through murder or attempted murder.

In summary, this was a well-executed take on a rather idiotic topic. I'd rather see the director use her talents to make a movie about people who deserve the effort. Not worthless no-talents like Warhol and Solanis.
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Fairly interesting story about a deranged moron.
Fedor Petrovic (fedor8)7 February 2007
Warning: Spoilers
"I Shot Andy Warhol"... And what a loss it would have been, too, to the world of TRUE ART if she had succeeded in murdering him. A giant. A genius. Or maybe just a hyped-up talentless little autistic freak. The movie title could also be misinterpreted to be about one of Andy's many gay lovers. "I Shot My Load Right Into Andy Warhol's Apathetic Face".

As for Valerie S., this woman clearly could not have had a high level of intelligence, while the opposite has been suggested here, rather groundlessly. And as far as being a genius, as some people consider her to be, she was just as much a genius as Warhol. (Look, Warhol seems to have been a nice guy, but everything he did was pure b******t-orama.) That she was molested by her father I do not accept as a fact, as this excuse has been so over-used in the recent decades to the extent that it has lost all believability - which just serves to harm the real victims.

The funniest moment in the film (or rather, the only funny moment) was at the very end in the epilogue; here I am informed that Valerie's manifesto is today considered a feminist classic! Funny that, but I was banking on the fact that it must today be considered as funny (or sad) as any other extreme left-wing or right-wing piece of writing, and is hence dismissed even by ardent feminists as irrelevant ravings of a pathetic lunatic. But, as it turns out, I have once again underestimated the tinniness of a modern feminist's brain. Valerie's manifesto seems to be merely a laughable and hateful series of emotionally-induced hallucinations of one woman's twisted view of the world, based solely on her hatred of men. (And if you see how ugly this dog really looked, you'd partly understand why.) It seems to have been enough for her to learn about the chromosome difference between men and women to start arriving to bizarrely idiotic conclusions. A really intelligent person presents their case with logic and facts, not with silly generalizations and theories that have as much of a scientific basis as the infamous babblings of Hitler's and Stalin's medical and biology scientists, with their ideology-driven b******t research. A highly intelligent person in her place - insane or not - would first ask themselves why they hate men so much. She simply hated them, without analyzing herself. How do I know that? Well, she seems to treat everything else with superficiality; judging from this film - and there are plenty of quotes from her junk writings to form a relatively clear picture of her. Her only way of approaching any idea or concept was to disregard all facts, but instead go full steam ahead with emotion, and emotional thinking is the most essential ingredient in arriving to irrational and absurd conclusions.

Ironically, with her unceasing emotionalism and lack of logic she was in fact only giving more support to all the male chauvinists of this world who consider women to be emotional and illogical, while she was trying to prove the opposite - that it is men who are inferior. But whether it's men or women, one thing is for sure: the most inferior species of people on this planet are fanatics, radicals and other morons who view the world in black and white terms. And I am not talking about politicians who oversimplify to achieve their goals without actually believing in the ideologies they are selling themselves - I am talking about the real believers, the low-life losers like Valerie S.; pitiful and bitter sods whose intensity of their beliefs should never be mistaken for genius.

Perhaps the chauvinists are right; it does seem that women have a surplus of illogicality and emotionalist thinking; after all, it's no coincidence that the late 20th century feminist movement is one that exceeds in stupidity more then any other contemporary movement I can think of - except maybe the Green movement and PETA. But, the again, they are also run by women; there you have it.

Anyway... The film is interesting mainly due to Taylor's convincing performance, and the dialog is interesting enough.

If you're interested in reading my extensive satire on modern/abstract art, "Picasso", contact me by e-mail.
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Indeed a Scum's manifesto
rose-29418 May 2008
Warning: Spoilers
A movie about Valerie Solanas, 1960s radical feminist who worked with the pop artist Andy Warhol and - you guessed it - tried to kill him. Sewer-mouthed tomboy who works as a whore and hates men and femininity, she writes SCUM manifesto - no, not her biography, albeit the name is apt, but militant feminist ramblings - and tries to do the murderous deed. (No, it is not really a spoiler, it is mentioned in the title.) Albeit suffering later from paranoia and mental illness, which is always a tragedy, her totally disgusting personality makes her anything but sympathetic. Not that other characters would be more interesting or likable. Blech.
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Warhol-haters, take heed
David6 February 2003
Although this film is overlong and often dull, it's still an intriguing look into a feminist gone way over the edge, who directs her wrath upon one of the most polarized artists of the century (you either love Warhol or you despise him, it seems). Anyone who truly detested Warhol may enjoy just seeing him get shot... I mean, if you're sadistic. People who are neutral towards his "greatness" (like me) or unfamiliar with his work may lose interest in this film; only Lili Taylor's hard-edged performance keeps the somewhat muddled story above water. And since I've never met anyone who worships the ground Warhol walked on, I can't say as to what those people might think of this film...in its favor, the script is objective towards both Valerie Solanas and Andy. At any rate, "I Shot Andy Warhol" is worth checking out if you stumble upon it on IFC one night.
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A distasteful film about a deranged feminist lesbian.
Arthur Hausner28 February 1999
I must admit to start that I admired Lili Taylor's performance of Valerie Solanas. She has an energy that would be a plus in any film and shows in this one how good an actress she is. But this film is peopled with characters I wouldn't care to know, much less care about. And the direction by Mary Harron suffers badly from the camera too often slowly rotating about a room showing meaningless scenes of too many people who weren't introduced; I had a hard time sorting out who was who. I must confess that I didn't pay too much attention to the counter-culture of the 60's, as I was too busy raising a normal family and earning a normal living, and I also never liked Andy Warhol's art or his films. (I'd rather watch an Andy Hardy movie.) So perhaps I am slightly biased square. The film somewhat works just to see the mechanism of delusion that overtakes anyone who attempts to kill a famous personality, but most of this comes in the last half hour of this film, and it wasn't worth the wait.
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chicklet-216 March 2000
Lily Taylor was astonishingly good as Valerie in I Shot Andy Warhol. She's a versatile and entertaining actress who certainly does not get enough credit. Stephen Dorf as a transvestite... who knew? But he was also incredibly good. The entire cast does a fantastic job. It's a thoroughly enjoyable fictionalized chronicle of the emergence of the SCUM Manifesto and the events leading up to the shooting of Andy Warhol, by Taylor's character a paranoid schizophrenic, man-hating, lesbian. What could be more entertaining than that?
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You got to go through a lot of sex to be ready for anti-sex.
Andy (film-critic)7 November 2004
When I first found this film I wasn't sure whom it was about. I recognized the name from the title, but I was pretty sure that it wasn't all going to be about Andy Warhol. I was perplexed and ready for yet another adventure down the path of our nation's undiscovered history. When I first started watching this movie I knew nothing about Valerie Solanas. She is not in the history books labeled next to Andy Warhol, or is she one that oozes sympathy. Solanas is a trash talking, independent thinker that somehow found herself next to one of the most modern men of our century, Andy Warhol.

Lili Taylor helms this unbridled beast Solanas like no actress I have seen before. I honestly felt as if Taylor had transformed herself into this brutal feminist. After the first ten minutes, I didn't even recognize Taylor because she had successfully transformed herself into this insane (?) character who carried this film on her shoulders. Taylor plays this woman who, for reasons unknown, constantly seeks Warhol's attention and approval. When Andy refuses to devote his entire attention to her, her mental stability begins to fail. In hopes to bring her back into the spotlight, and hopefully demonstrate to the world her manifesto, she does what the title of this film suggests. Sadly, this has the opposite effect and she is forced to live with the act that she committed instead of the words that she has written.

Taylor was phenomenal in this role. She stole the scene from everyone and was never afraid to take Solanas to the next level. Thankfully, she has some help from some amazing back-up stars to only help boost her performance. Jared Harris is superb as Andy (one of the best reincarnations of him) and Stephen Dorff blazes onto the scene as Candy Darling. Oscars should have been handed out for their parts in this film, but unfortunately this was yet another film the Academy ignored.

Outside of the acting, director Mary Harron does a fabulous job of setting the scene and building the image of this era. Warhol was a genius, and because of his fame and notoriety he somehow attracted some of the most interesting people in the world. This is one of those stories of a woman that wanted to attach herself to this great man, yet somehow couldn't. Harron directs these actors to show this with perfection. Her brash cinematography and direction seem to blend perfectly in this boiling pot of history. Her mix of documentary and biography genres works well in this film. She commands attention behind the camera, and her actors react with positive responses. This was a gritty story not for everyone's tastes. It was a very true story that is more than just Andy Warhol, but also develops themes of feminism and women's rights. Was Solanas crazy? I don't think so, I just think she was ahead of her time and not afraid to be herself.

Grade: ***** out of *****
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My favorite movie
gray-133 March 1999
I had seen this film before, but I never actually got to write down what I thought about it. I think this is, or is one of my favorite movies. The directing by Mary Harron was so magnificent and brilliant that I cannot put it into words. As the title explains, the film tells the story of Andy Warhol, and the girl who shot him. I, being a major fan of Warhols, absolutely loved this movie. Not just b/c it had to do with Warhol, but the directing, acting, cinematography, writing, music, and editing were some of the best that I've seen. Harris' performance as Warhol was very memorable. He should have won an award for his performance, this whole movie should have won awards. Dorff's performance as Candy was at his best. No one could have played it better. Taylor was as good an actress as Dorff as Valerie. I have to mention once again that the directing by Harron was extraordinary. Wonderful. This is a movie I recommend to everybody.
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Another side of the 1960s
Jimmy_the_Gent420 January 2018
A bio-pic about Valerie Solanas, a disturbed writer who shot and wounded artist Andy Warhol.

This is one of the best films of the 1990s, showing a different side to the often romanticized era of the 1960s. This is not the peace, love and flowers of the hippie years, this shows the underground of low life New York, in it's seedy hotels, dirty diners among drugs and sex trade. Solanas is brilliantly played by Lili Taylor, an underrated actress who deserves a better career. Jared Harris makes a believable Warhol, showing him as the shy, awkward artist who finds danger from his naivete about this sick woman he befriends. There is a great scene of a party in the Factory, it looks very authentic. Warhol's circle of friends are not portrayed as just eccentric artists, they are humanized with all the flaws of any else. They are capable of cruelty, cattiness and prejudice like anybody else. The director Mary Harron does an excellent job with the story using flashbacks and black and white sequences where Solanas spouts her crazed rantings. There are some interesting music of the era used here, such as Walk On By by Dionne Warwick, Grazing In The Grass by Hugh Masekela, Do You Believe In Magic by Lovin Spoonful and Summertime Blues by Blue Cheer.

This is highly recommended to anyone interested in true crime stories, pop art and seeing the tough brutal side of the decade.
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A Sick Manifesto, A Sick Woman, and A Really Good Film
Anthony Iessi11 April 2017
Valerie Solanas, feminist hero? or total maniac? Considering she tried to assassinate Andy Warhol, you tell me. Meet one of the angriest feminists in American history, in all of her glory, in a beautifully done film by American Psycho director Marry Harron. It's a journey of rejection, loathing, and pain. Lilli Taylor is great, and so is the rest of the cast. The script is top notch, and the editing is fabulous, and surprisingly exuberant. Biopics shine when they are brought to the screen with more panache than.. lets say an A&E documentary.
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So 1990s
gavin694222 September 2015
Based on the true story of Valerie Solanas who was a 60s radical preaching hatred toward men in her "Scum" manifesto. She wrote a screenplay for a film that she wanted Andy Warhol to produce, but he continued to ignore her. So she shot him. This is Valerie's story.

Dr. Dana Heller, professor of English at the Old Dominion University, argues that the film stages the conflict between Solanas and Warhol as less the result of gender politics – particularly because Solanas intended no connection between her writing and the shooting – than of the decline of print culture as represented by Solanas and the rise of new non-writing media as embodied by Warhol and the Pop art movement. In the screenplay, Harron and Minahan describe Solanas as "banging at an ancient typewriter" and the film frequently shows her typing, for which she is mocked by Warhol and other Factory regulars. Solanas' writing is set against the new technologies of reproduction championed by Warhol.

The Andy Warhol in this film is nothing compared to the one played by David Bowie in "Basquiat". The voice and mannerisms are good, but Bowie just nails it. The film in general is excellent, though, and Lili Taylor was the perfect person for the role. What is she up to these days? It seems like she had a good run in the 1990s, playing off of John Cusack, and then disappeared.
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Indie Period Piece That Strikes Gold
Rathko28 February 2005
An independent gem of a movie that proves once again that give a good actor some well-written dialogue and the support to take a few risks and you can make gold. Lili Taylor, working under the careful stewardship of Mary Hanlon, works hard to give a pitch perfect performance as the brilliant and deeply troubled Solanas. Her intelligence and humor and always evident, but for all her strutting arrogance, she conveys an uncertainty and vulnerability that foreshadows what is ultimately a painful and tragic descent into violence and paranoia.

The evocation of the late 60's New York underground, and Warhol's Factory in particular, is brilliant, even more so when you consider the low budget and that Andy Warhol's Estate refused to allow any of the artists work to actually be duplicated for the movie. The pill-popping, light-show gazing, pretentiousness, promiscuity and vacuousness of the scene have not been this well portrayed since Midnight Cowboy.

The supporting cast, without exception, are brilliant, inhabiting their characters completely with just a few lines, and the soundtrack perfectly sets the tone and period. While the narrative lags in spots and could have benefited with a little tightening in the editing room, I Shot Andy Warhol is still a wonderful testament to the ambitious possibilities of low-budget, independent film-making.
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Better and Worse...
solemn avalanche26 January 2000
A movie that takes on topics as prone to controversy as the art of Andy Warhol and radical feminism is almost sure to garner itself with with passionate fans and spiteful critics alike. Because it portrays its subject matter with such skill, one's opinion on the film likely says something about one's ideas on those matters, and setting aside these opinions will probably yield a much more moderate take on the film. At least it does for me.

Now: as a presentation of the events that led to Warhol's shooting, this film was brilliant. Its portrayal of Solanas's and Warhol's motivations and ideas is done with compassion and clarity; I particularly enjoyed its characterization of Warhol, which, in my opinion, was quite complimentary, contrary to some other opinions expressed on this board. He approaches things with an endearingly childlike innocence, a willingness to accept anything as beautiful... Well, some people might not find that complimentary... Nonetheless, it is his hangers on who come across as cruel and unpleasant. And of course, Lili Taylor plays the idiosyncratic Solanas marvelously.

Unfortunately, the focus on the context of the events causes the film to suffer as a narrative. Many of the mood generating scenes, while providing considerable insight into the characters, seem directionless and unsure. This would not be a problem had they been more visually or emotionally compelling, but as it is, they are only occasionally composed as anything other than simple, plot-furthering shots. The result is that the film seems digressive and unfocused, and this digression mars what could have been a fascinating film.

In the end, though, this is certainly a film worth watching, if you're willing to pay attention, especially when one of its more striking images comes to the surface.
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Orpheum-327 March 2002
Grittily rendered tale of one oppressed visionary's descent into madness. Absolutely stunning performances by Taylor, Plimpton and Dorff.

The "art scene" is masterfully presented - its decadence only overshadowed by its ultimate emptiness.
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6.5 come on it was riveting
vlee392 October 2001
when i watched this little gem i couldnt help but think of all the school shootings, of all the alienated teens that used their adolescent harmones in such a way. what makes this even more compelling is the fact that the shooter this time is a woman, although maybe its more commonplace now.

the acting was so suburb for a directorial debut, i cant believe her only other movie was american pycho. lili taylor was so great in Household Saints, although the script makes her go a little over the top at the end in this film.
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